What are intelligent buildings?


Most work on intelligent buildings concentrates on a particular subsystem. Building component manufacturers describe many improvements as intelligent. Currently, intelligent: materials; structural systems; and boilers are all advertised.

Office Buildings

Engineers, architects and interior designers often use the phrase intelligent building to mean an office building with telecommunications that allow rapid reconfiguration of the interior layout for a client.

Controlling Systems

Controlling mechanical and electrical systems

When engineers say a building is intelligent, they often mean that computer programs coordinate many building subsystems to regulate the interior temperatures, HVAC and providing power. The goal is usually to reduce the operating cost of the building while maintaining the desired environment for the occupants. Commercial-off-the-shelf Building Automation Systems (BAS) are available. A basic Building Automation System saves energy by widening temperature ranges and reducing lighting in unoccupied spaces. It also reduces costs for electricity by shedding loads when electricity is higher-priced. Often, a building can be designed so that air-conditioning and refrigeration can be deferred.

Typical uses

Because many subsystems contribute to the costs of operating a building, customized building automation can be complex. Some intelligent buildings:

  • Manage thermal transmissions through windows or walls
  • Anticipate forecasted weather, utility costs, or electrical demand.
  • Learn and adapt to building occupants.
  • Track individual occupants to adapt building systems to the individual’s wants and needs (e.g. setting a room’s temperature and lighting levels automatically when a homeowner enters)
  • Detect and report faults in the mechanical and electrical systems, especially critical systems.

Other, non-energy uses for automation in a building

  • Security
  • Rent or consumables charges based on actual usage
  • Giving directions within the building
  • Customized lighting to meet different needs, or set moods.
  • Scheduling preventive maintenance

Davmark Group puts this all together for the client. Providing leading edge solutions that help future proof the building.


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